Thanksgiving Celebrations in San Diego

Posted By Mclain

If you are looking to expand your Thanksgiving traditions beyond turkey and football then look no further than San Diego. Spending Thanksgiving here means you’ll have lots of ways to enjoy the holiday.

Mother Goose Parade
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1pm

Image credit: http://www.mothergooseparade.org/

Now in its 72nd year, the Mother Goose Parade is held each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving in El Cajon. The event which attracts more than 400,000 attendees features marching units, bands, floats, clowns, cartoon characters, equestrians and even some celebrity appearances.

Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K
November 22nd, 2018

Image credit: neighbor.org

Get energized before your feast at the 17th Annual Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K. Registration will open at 6:30 am and the race will begin at 7:30 am. Held in Balboa Park, participants can enjoy the company of more than 7500 racers and spectators while helping raise critical funds for the meal program which provides more than 1 million meals each year to those in need.

Skating by the Sea at Hotel del Coronado
Nov 22, 2018 – Jan 1, 2019

Image credit: www.hoteldel.com

Where else but in Southern California can you ice skate while overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the balmy San Diego weather? The Hotel del Coronado constructs a spectacular beachfront ice rink where you can enjoy a cold weather pastime without the chill. Reservations are recommended.

San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival
Nov. 21 – 25, 2018

Image credit: http://www.sdjazzfest.org

Known as the “the crown jewel of jazz festivals,” the Dixieland Jazz Festival is held at the Town and Country Resort Hotel. The event offers a wide variety of experiences from large concert rooms with double dance floors to small, intimate “listening” rooms. The Festival bands represent a wide variety of traditional jazz, dixieland, ragtime, swing, and rockabilly styles.

Surfin’ Santa Arrival
Nov. 24, 2018, 1-5 PM

Image credit: www.seaportvillage.com

If you are ready to welcome the holiday season, then head over to Seaport Village for the Surfin’ Santa Arrival. Kids and adults will enjoy watching Santa arrive in Southern California style via watercraft and dressed in board shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. After his arrival at 1 p.m., check out the festivities where you can get free photos on Santa’s giant surfboard and six-foot wave until 5 p.m. Cheer on Santa as he cruises down the boardwalk for a parade featuring live music, stilt walkers and holiday cheer. Kids crafting, live street performances and a variety of unique local shops and eateries will keep visitors entertained throughout the warm-weathered holiday event.

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!


San Diego Food & Wine Festival

Posted By Mclain

Image Credit: www.sandiegowineclassic.com

Food and drink connoisseurs can treat their palates to a wonderous journey during the annual San Diego Food and Wine Festival which will take place November 11-18, 2018. This week-long culinary celebration features food tasting events, domestic and international wineries, craft beer and spirits, local cooking legends and nationally recognized celebrities. The event culminates with the Grand Tasting on Saturday, November 17.

With more than 40 events throughout the week, it can be a daunting task to navigate through the many offerings and select the most appetizing options. Here is a run down of the week’s happenings:

Sunday, Nov. 11

The festival kicks off on Sunday, Nov. 11 with Pitmaster’s Veterans Day Barbecue. Celebrity Chef Graham Elliott of Master Chef and Top Chef will be on hand along with other well-known pitmasters to fire up their grills for a family-friendly barbecue.

Monday, Nov. 12

On Monday, Raised by Wolves, a speakeasy that can only be accessed through a hidden fireplace entrance will feature master mixologists preparing hand-crafted beverages from the Festival’s opening night cocktail menu. When hunger strikes, check out the Shake Shack pop up located out back.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

Tuesday evening’s offerings include a screening of the documentary film SOMM and SOMM: Into the Bottle, reception with select wines and canapés followed by a guided blind tasting.  Or if you prefer indulging in an authentic Japanese culinary experience, pay a visit to Kaiseki: The Soul of Japanese Cuisine.

Wednesday, Nov. 14

Wednesday provides a robust array of options beginning at 7:30 AM with the Expedition Baja day trip. Participants will explore Valle de Guadalupe’s most prestigious wineries, restaurants and culinary experiences. At 9 AM the inaugural San Diego Food Tank Summit begins, featuring more than 30 different speakers from the food and agriculture industry.

Indulge your sweet tooth beginning at 11 AM for Chuao Chocolatiers hands-on, chocolate truffle rolling experience. If the sea is calling, then be sure to stop by the Marine Room for Master Chef Bernard Guillas’ exclusive five-course Ocean-To-Table luncheon. As the day comes to a close You and Yours will host a hands-on introduction to cocktail basics where participants can learn to mix up drinks like the pros.

Thursday, Nov. 15

Heat up your Thursday with an Argentine cookout out on the water at Coasterra’s Harbor Float consisting of a three-course menu with tastings of Argentinian wines. Also taking place mid-day is the Rare 8 Decades of Barolo Tasting where patrons can compare Library Barolo wines from 1947 through 2013.

Enjoy some of life’s finer offers at the Oysters, Caviar & Dom Perignon tasting at 2 PM. Celebrity chefs will be hosting Pop the Cork, an evening of tastings to benefit scholarships for young culinarians, farmers, and fisherman. If you are looking to end the week with a late-night celebration then come out to Marina Kitchen for an evening of global flavors, guest DJ, and flowing libations hosted by celebrity chef and James Beard Award Winner, Abraham Conlon.

Friday, Nov. 16

Greet the day with a class in Organic, Natural Farming + Grape Growing at 9:00 AM. When the mid-day meal rolls around consider paying a visit to Louis Latour at Mister A’s for a five-course luncheon along with ten of the best Grand Cru Burgundies produced by Louis Latour. Another option is to stop by and see Culinary author, Michael Ruhlman, as he guides you through the craft of pâté and charcuterie featuring Groth Vineyards & Winery.

Friday night offers you the chance to experience Femme de la Fork where a group of ground breaking female chefs come together to create an extraordinary dinner paired with wines crafted by domestic and international female winemakers.

Saturday, Nov. 16

This week-long festival of delicious delights culminates with the Grand Tasting Event on Saturday. General admission begins at 12 PM and VIP early entry is at 11 AM. More than 60 celebrity chefs and restaurants will be in attendance to tempt your palate. Hundreds of domestic and international wine, beer and spirit purveyors round out the mix to create an epic event that shouldn’t be missed.

Don’t miss the Chef of the Fest Competition on Saturday. Watch as San Diego’s top chefs put their talents to the test in the pursuit of winning the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival’s elite competition.

Halloween Activities in and Around San Diego

Posted By Mclain

Image Credit: Nash FM 103.3

October is here which means the fun and frenzy of Halloween is quickly approaching. If you are planning a getaway to San Diego in late October be sure to check out some of the many festivities centered around the spookiest day of the year. Whether you are looking for family fun or adult-themed Halloween events, San Diego won’t disappoint with its many offerings!

Family Activities

10th Annual Balboa Park Halloween Family Day
October 27
11 AM – 4 PM

San Diego’s Balboa Park and its museums are treating families to a free Halloween Family Day with a spooky array of hands-on activities and other free goodies. The event features dozens of free craft projects for kids, Day of the Dead-themed displays and activities, costume contests and parades, carnival games with prizes, live entertainment, and food trucks.

Among the day’s highlights are a free performance by the San Diego Children’s Choir (all in costume); Day of the Dead altar, face-painting, and crafts presented by the Mexican Consulate; mini-carnival games for prizes courtesy of the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department; a doggie costume contest in the Spanish Village Art Center; a rooftop pumpkin drop experiment at the San Diego Air & Space Museum; “Thriller” flash mob dance in the Plaza de Panama; and the Fab Trailers photo booth.

HalGLOWeen at the San Diego Zoo
October 26-28 until 8 PM

Head to the Zoo for HalGLOWeen and have fun with a DJ spinning tunes for everyone to dance to among bursts of bubbles, glowing “Boolahoops,” exciting entertainment, special treats, Halloween-themed music, and more!

7th Annual HauntFest on Main
October 19
5 PM – 10 PM

HauntFest on Main is an exciting family friendly event in Downtown El Cajon. The event features live music on two stages along with Costume Contests; expanded Carnival Rides and Games; Car Show; Candy Challenge Activities; Kidz Zone, Face Painting; performances by TNT Dancers, Arts In Motion Crew & Jr. Crew, and St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center Pumpkin Patch; Craft and Game booths; LED Rock Wall; Inflatables for kids; Monster’s, Inc. & Monster’s University Movies Outdoors and more!

Mall-O-Ween Monster Mash
October 27
2 PM – 4 PM

The Hazard Center will host its 2nd Annual Mall-O-Ween Monster Mash – a spooktacular event brimming with family fun! This kid-friendly jamboree will offer fun and frights for all ages and feature a costume contest, carnival games, arts and crafts, music, refreshments and more. All proceeds raised will benefit Angels Foster Family Network, a nonprofit dedicated to creating safe, stable and loving homes for infants and toddlers throughout San Diego County.

Adult Activities

San Diego Monster Bash
October 27, 2018
6 PM – Midnight

The San Diego Monster Bash will transform six blocks in the East Village into one of the most epic Halloween events in San Diego – featuring four stages of non-stop live performances (including headliners Cheat Codes, Michael Calfan and special guest E-40), immersive themed areas, over $5k in costume contest prizes and all new interactive features that give you a Halloween experience far beyond any basic block party.

Pre-Halloween Pacific Beach Pub Crawl
October 26
7 PM – 2 AM

Come party with hundreds of others costumed pub crawlers this Halloween in PB! Pacific Beach Halloween pub crawl gets you drink discounts, free welcome shots and entry at over 10 different Halloween parties.

3rd Annual Sinners & Saints: Night at The Haunted Museum
October 26
7 PM – 11 PM

Join us for our 3rd annual Sinners & Saints Halloween Party at the iconic Museum of Man as we raise money for a great cause: Urban Street Angels. Sinners & Saints promises to be a frightfully fantastic evening with delectable appetizers, stocked bars, costume contests, live entertainment from DJ Aaron K, and amazing raffle & silent auction items. The Museum will have all of their exhibits open for your enjoyment, including Ancient Egypt, Monsters!, and Beerology, but beware, creatures of the night roam about ready to scare all those who dare enter!

Nightmare on Normal Street
October 27
6 PM – 11PM

Hillcrest’s haunted Halloween dance party and costume competition is back! This year’s event benefits the San Diego LGBT Community Center and Fabulous Hillcrest. With late night live entertainment, costume competitions (including a special pet contest for your furry, fuzzy, and feathery companions) outdoor bars, and the best people watching in all of San Diego – this is an event you won’t want to miss!

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Get to Know Gaslamp Quarter

Posted By Mclain

Photo Credit: www.gaslamp.org

The Gaslamp Quarter is a lively downtown neighborhood that has embraced and preserved its Victorian roots while creating a bustling dining, shopping and entertainment destination. Comprised of 16 ½ blocks, the Gaslamp Quarter is centrally located in Downtown San Diego near the Convention Center, Petco Park, and Horton Plaza.


There is no shortage of dining options within the Gaslamp Quarter. The neighborhood’s eclectic offerings range from exclusive eateries featuring celebrity chefs to quaint little quick bite stops and everything else in between. A trip to the Gaslamp Quarter will make decisions difficult with everything from steaks to seafood, Mexican to sushi and breakfast to dessert.

Illusions Theatre & Bar is one of the newest venues to open in the Gaslamp Quarter. It offers patrons a night of entertainment along with a 3-course gourmet dinner and dessert. Diners will embark on a journey with a magical entry, escape room, strolling magicians and the grand finale of an on-stage magic show.


Those looking for a sophisticated setting to enjoy an evening out will find plenty of options in the Gaslamp Quarter. There are numerous venues where live music can be enjoyed throughout the week. Bars, nightclubs and lounges offer a variety of settings in which to enjoy a wide array of freshly crafted libations. Looking to nurture your creative side? The Gaslamp Quarter has a vast offering of art galleries, museums and theatres.

Looking for some adventure this Halloween? On Saturday, October 27, the Parq Restaurant & Nightclub will be hosting The Haunted Circus featuring The Stafford Brothers & E-40. The evening will offer guests five rooms of music and five different experiences including two nightclubs, a haunted maze spanning 35,000 square feet and more than 10 DJs.


If you are in the mood for some retails therapy then look no further than the Gaslamp Quarter! Shop-a-holics will delight by the endless boutiques, national retailers, and professional services that comprise the 16-block span of the neighborhood. The Gaslamp Quarter is comprised of more than 80 retail shops offering everything from accessories to furnishings, to travel and wine all within an easy walk to one another.

If you are in search of unique, one-of-a-kind treasures, then be sure to visit Bubbles Boutique. Locally owned and operated, Bubbles works directly with local artists to create an exceptional and exciting shopping atmosphere and experience. Can’t pay a visit in person? That’s okay! Bubbles now offers FaceTime Shopping which lets you see your selections in three dimensions on mannequins (live models are also available upon request).

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Best Fall Festivals in San Diego

Posted By Mclain

Photo Credit: Town of LaPlata

Autumn is here and while it may not mean cooler air or colorful leaves in San Diego, you can expect to find lots of local seasonal celebrations popping up each weekend. Fall is a fantastic time to experience the local cultures and festivities that make San Diego such a unique and dynamic location. Be sure to check out some of the many festivals coming your way during the fall months.

24th Annual San Diego Festival of Beer
September 22, 2018
12-5 PM
SD Broadway Pier

The event will take over the entire SD Broadway Pier on the bay front. The indoor/outdoor event will feature lively music and more than 50 breweries pouring 120 taste-bud tingling varieties of craft beer! Ticket purchase includes entrance to the event, unlimited craft beer tastings, access to food trucks (food purchased separately), vendor booths, lively music, fun games, and more!

37th Annual Adams Avenue Street Fair
September 29 – 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
September 30, 2018 – 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Normal Heights

Adams Avenue Street Fair is the area’s largest free two-day music festival held each year during the last weekend in September in Normal Heights. The 37th annual Adams Avenue Street Fair will feature 80 musical acts on six stages. The event also includes beer gardens and tastings, carnival rides, festival foods and more than 300 arts and crafts booths.

El Cajon Oktoberfest
October 5-7; Fri., 4-10 p.m. Sat., Noon-10 p.m.; Sun., Noon-9 p.m.

Presented by the German American Societies of San Diego, multi-day event offers traditional German foods like bratwurst and potato pancakes while enjoying a huge variety of German beers. The food and drink are complimented by the Guggenbach-Buam, a band that hails from Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The musicians dress in traditional clothing, and play a variety of German music. Round out your day watching traditional folk dancing performances, compete in games and contests, visit the many vendor and craft booths, and watch the kids play in the Kids’ Zone.

Pacific BeachFest
October 6, 2018
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Pacific Beach

Pacific BeachFest is San Diego’s premier beach festival located in the heart of Pacific Beach. This free, full-day, family-friendly, music-packed event offers fun for all! Featuring a kid’s play area, fish taco contest, local vendors, a 5K race and volleyball tournament – the possibilities are endless!

Harvest Festival – Del Mar
October 12-13, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; October 14, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Del Mar Fairgrounds

Get ready for the upcoming holiday season with unique treasures at the Harvest Festival in Del Mar. Take a stroll through hundreds of artisans selling jewelry, ceramics, toys and art. There is so much to see and do – musicians, a cowboy on stilts and free crafts for the kids.

10th Annual Fall Fun Festival
October 20, 2018
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Alta Vista Botanical Gardens

This traditional fall festival has plenty of ways to keep the fun going all day. Face painting, a scarecrow contest, the Children’s Discovery Trail, bobbing for apples and decorating pumpkins are just a few of the activities available. Sit back and enjoy the day while you enjoy the performers, food and vendors.

15th Annual Point Loma Fall Festival
October 20, 2018
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

This community-wide event is open to the public and admission is free. Fall Festival activities include wagon rides, a pumpkin patch, food samples from local eateries, music from local musicians and exhibit booths showcasing San Diego businesses, artisans and non-profit organizations. Come out and experience a day of fun, fall-inspired activities for all ages – the young and the young at heart!

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Golfing Destinations in San Diego

Posted By Mclain

Image credit: torreypines.com

Torrey Pines Golf Course

Located in La Jolla, Torrey Pines Golf Course is situated on cliffs that tower above the Pacific Ocean. Golfers can enjoy the stunning coastline views and deep ravines while they embark on classic championship golf holes. Recognized as the premier municipal golf course owned and operated by a city, this well-known course is the host of the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open event.

Torrey Pines gain widespread recognition within the golf community during the 2008 U.S. Open Championship, when under the typically brutal conditions of the tournament, injured and hobbling Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate during their sudden death playoff after 90 grueling holes of exciting golf.

Image credit: omnihotels.com

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Located just north of San Diego in Carlsbad, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa offers 36 holes of golf at the Champions and Legends courses. These beautiful but challenging courses have hosted a number of LPGA and PGA Tour events and offer distinct experiences and settings. The course also offers instruction programs for all levels of golfers.

Image credit: maderasgolf.com

Maderas Golf Club

If you are looking for a serene setting to play some holes then be sure to visit the Maderas Golf Club. Here, golfers can experience a diverse topography including cliffs, rock outcroppings, creeks, and forests of the inland hill country of north San Diego. While there aren’t any ocean views, visitors will be enthralled by the course’s three lakes, waterfalls, and 40+ acres of native plants. Designed by Johnny Miller and Robert Muir Graves, Maderas offers a unique combination of golf course strategy and design mastery.

Image credit: barona.com

Barona Creek Golf Course

If you are looking for a unique getaway that includes other activities, like an onsite casino, then be sure to pay a visit to Baron Creek. Located in a secluded setting, this Barona Valley course in approximately 30 miles away from San Diego. Recognized by Golf Digest as a top casino course, Barona Creek boasts broad natural beauty with its creeks, grasses and California oaks and is an established Audubon Sanctuary.

Image credit: balboapark.org

Balboa Park

If you are looking for a more centrally located, moderately priced golf outing, then Balboa Park is a must-see. Built in 1921, it is the oldest public golf facility in San Diego and, as such, the views of downtown San Diego, Balboa Park, Point Loma and the Pacific Ocean can’t be beat. This par 72 course offers well cared for greens and a variety of challenging holes.

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Top 3 Wineries Near San Diego to Visit

Posted By Mclain

If you think the California winery scene is only in Napa then guess again! The wine industry is alive and thriving in San Diego County, thanks in large part to the area’s Mediterranean climate and unique topography. In fact, the wineries in this area boast some of the most truly unique offerings because the grapes are grown in widely diverse microclimates – from desert to coastline to mountains!

If your passion is extraordinary flavors that can be enjoyed in some of the most beautiful surrounding on Earth, then be sure to visit some of these San Diego Wineries.

Bernardo Winery

Photo credit: Bernardo Winery

Loaded with rustic charm, Bernardo Winery is the oldest continuously operated winery in California. The tasting room is surrounded by several buildings along with antique tools used for wine making which give it the essence of a historic village. There are also shops onsite offering coffee, sandwiches and chocolates.

In addition to public tours which are available on Saturdays and Sundays, Bernardo Winery hosts a variety of ongoing events open to the public including a Sunset Art Walk and Farmer’s Market on Fridays as well as live music on Sundays.

Milagro Farms Vineyards and Winery

Photo credit: Milagro Farm Winery

Located about 50 minutes east of San Diego, Milagro Farms Vineyards & Winery is situated on a stunningly beautiful 110-acre property comprised of a working estate-grown winery, organic farm and orchard. The tasting room allows visitors to enjoy plush, scenic vistas while experiencing the award-winning wines grown and cultivated on site. Wine tours take place each Friday. The large estate is perfect for leisure activities such as hiking, horseback riding and bocce ball.

Vineyard Grant James

Photo credit: San Diego Sun Tribune

Also located in Ramona, Vineyard Grant James has created an atmosphere of a countryside estate filled with the purity and simplicity of a long-ago time. The environment extends to their philosophy of wine making with a passion for developing the natural flavors of the grapes grown and harvested locally.

The stone veranda at Vineyard Grant James offers breathtaking views of the Sangiovese vineyard and the hills of the Ramona Valley. The views are complimented by the intimate, boutique style experience carefully crafted by the staff whose single passion is delivering an unforgettable experience.

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Summer Activities in San Diego

Posted By Mclain

Planning a summer vacation can be a time consuming and sometimes overwhelming venture. Deciding on a location, method of transportation and accommodations are just the beginning of creating a successful trip. Luckily, if you have selected San Diego as your destination then you will no shortage of activities to choose from!

Here are a few of the many places worth visiting during your vacation in San Diego.

San Diego Zoo

Photo credit: www.goldstar.com

The iconic San Diego Zoo is likely going to be on your list whether you are a first time or recurring visitor. The zoo is enormous which means that you can easily spend a full day exploring the many exhibits and attractions offered throughout the summer months.

From pandas to penguins the San Diego Zoo has a wide variety of animal encounters, special programs, play areas, shows and more! Be sure to check out the Skyfari® Aerial Tram for incredible aerial views of the zoo and the 4-D Theatre which has showings daily.

Belmont Park

Photo Credit: www.californiabeaches.com

If you are looking to add some good old-fashioned family fun to your experience be sure to pay a visit to Belmont Park. This beach front amusement park and boardwalk has been delighting visitors since 1925 and is still a staple in the San Diego community today.

Thrill seekers will be enthralled with the rides and attractions which range from the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster to the Liberty Carousel. Other attractions like laser tag, zipline, mini golf and an arcade will round out the day of fun and excitement. There are several full-service restaurants and quick serve eateries on site along with shops and bike rentals.

The Beach

Photo credit: sandiego.org

A visit to San Diego isn’t complete without visiting the beach. San Diego is home to 70 miles of pristine Pacific coastline that can’t be missed. Whether you are looking for a peaceful retreat, some challenging surf or family and pet friendly spots, San Diego has a beach for that. To learn more about finding the right beach for you, click here.

San Diego Padres Baseball Game

Photo credit: groupon.com

Round out your summer vacation by catching a San Diego Padres baseball game at PETCO Park in downtown San Diego. The park opened in 2004 and has been widely regarded as “the world’s best ballpark in America’s finest city.” Be sure to check the schedule for special events that are held throughout the summer months.

If your time permits, PETCO Park offers guided behind the scenes tours of the massive stadium. The tour covers the press box, Padre’s dugout as well as the luxury suites and lounges. For more information on PETCO Park tours click here.

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

How To Increase Rental Bookings

Posted By Mclain

Image source: Top Drones For Sale

Whether you’ve invested in real estate specifically to get into the short term rental industry, or are considering renting out your primary residence (this is the case for many renters on Airbnb), you can always benefit from an increase in rental bookings. Why get into the short term travel industry? The numbers speak for themselves.

Millennials alone are predicted to spend $1.4 trillion on travel for each year by 2020. Up until this point, the average revenue per renter was $659. Another study conducted by Technavio forecasted the global vacation rental market to grow by 7.07% per year between 2017 – 2021. And lastly, the industry has seen explosive growth in urban rental accommodations vs. beach rentals. More and more people are seeking the city experience. Cities like San Diego with a hybrid city-beach life are even more desirable than ever.

With these numbers in mind, you gain a better understanding of the full potential of the vacation rental market. If you plan on listing a property, here are a few ways you can increase your bookings:

Make A Video

A house tour is a great way to give potential visitors an up-close look at your property. This “virtual walkthrough” of your space can make guests even more excited to book. This is especially true if you’ve frequently heard your guests say, “This looks so much better than the photos!”

Be sure that your video, like your photos, is of the highest quality. If you don’t have a solid camera with HD resolution, or know someone who can shoot it for you, it’s best to hold out for the right opportunity.

Drone videos are also a great way to capture homes, amenities (like a rooftop pool), views, and community features. And contrary to what you might think, drone access is easier than ever. Hundreds of drone footage companies are sprouting, and a quick search for “drone video companies in [insert city]” will likely yield some reliable results.

Set Up A Website

When you set up your own website, you have complete creative freedom to showcase your property the way that you want. You aren’t confined to the limits of your platform, and can include larger galleries, home tour videos, and can even highlight testimonials that are most important to you. A website is an ideal place to show off everything you have to offer, and you don’t have to worry about setting up a payment gateway (unless you want guests to be able to book directly through your website). Alternatively, you can create a “Booking” link that leads directly to your vacation rental platform of choice.

Utilize Email Marketing

Now that you’ve set up a website, you can start to utilize email marketing. Despite what many people think, email is still the preferred method of communication from brands to consumers, and email marketing has some of the best return on investments.

Studies have shown that customers who purchase product via email spend 138% more than customers who didn’t receive email offers. Welcome emails alone have proven to be particularly effective; on average, they receive 320% more revenue than other types of emails. In the short term rental space, email marketing serves multiple purposes:

  • Attract new renters
  • Encourage previous guests to return
  • Solicit recommendations from previous guests
  • Announce new features about your property
  • Highlight guest experiences
  • Announce specials and discounted bookings

Deals With Local Businesses

Another unique way to liven up your booking is offer local experiences. You can achieve this by partnering up with businesses in your community. This is a win-win for you, and local businesses.

Here’s how it works: you partner up with a business, such as a restaurant, to send guests their way. Let’s say a traditional breakfast platter at the diner across the street costs $12. You might pay the restaurant $9 for each guest, receive a coupon for the meal, and provide it to your guests as a “free breakfast” perk. Guests will likely buy more than what the coupon offers, creating additional income.

There are dozens of ways you can work out a successful partnership. For example, one Airbnb in Madrid partners with a local gelato shop to offer a coupon for $5 off, which is enough to pay for a cup of gelato, as well as a portion of another item.

Request A Review

Within a day after checkout, Airbnb automatically sends an email to your guests, reminding them to review your property. However, it’s easy for guests to consider the transaction done once they leave. They aren’t as invested in the review process as you are, and tend to forget it entirely.

Think about all the times you’ve purchased a product, eaten at a restaurant, or stayed at a hotel and left without leaving a review, good experience or otherwise. It happens naturally, without anyone even realizing how important it might be to the establishment.

It can be frustrating when you’ve worked hard to provide a great experience, and you don’t get the review to reflect it for future potential guests. A gentle nudge in the “review” direction goes a long way. Send them a message letting them know that you hope they had a wonderful stay. Mention that you’ve already left them a review; sometimes, this will work as healthy encouragement towards reciprocation.

Aim For Superhost Status

If you, like many others, are using Airbnb to rent your property, you can leverage the Superhost status to your benefit. A Superhost label is the equivalent of an “A+” in the short term rental space world. Several guests have confirmed that with Superhost status, not only were they able to increase their nightly rate, but saw a noticeable increase in the number of bookings, as guests seemed more comfortable with making a reservation.

To become a superhost, you have to meet Airbnb’s minimum requirements. You’ll need to have hosted at least 10 trips, maintained a 90% response rate at minimum, and have at least an 80% average rating if half of all your guests have left reviews. As a Superhost, you also have access to exclusive Airbnb-hosted events in your area, and receive priority support from customer service.

5 Mistakes You Should Never Make With Your Rental Property

Posted By Mclain

Main image source: Airbnb San Diego

The vacation rental industry is booming, and rental market growth numbers are a clear indication of this. According to the Smart Hosts Vacation Rental Forum, the vacation rental industry was valued at $100 billion in 2016. By 2019, they predict the industry will balloon to nearly $170 billion. In the USA alone, there’s been a 26% year-over-year growth. Platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, and FlipKey have made it easier than ever for property owners to create lucrative businesses through their real estate investments.

Whether you’re renting out your primary residence or have invested in real estate with the intent to rent, there’s no doubt that short and long-term vacation rentals can create a reliable stream of income. However, if you don’t take the necessary precautions, you risk losing out on your share of rental market.

It’s better to take a preventative approach to building out your listing than to wait for a mistake to happen to fix it. With that in mind, here are five mistakes you should never make with your rental property:

1) Pricing Your Property Wrong
It’s imperative that you price your rental property as accurately as possible. Pricing too low or too high can easily lead to a missed opportunity. One of the best ways to determine your pricing is to check out the competition. How much does it cost guests to rent similar properties in your market?

Evaluate a group of homes that share certain qualities and amenities, and price competitively without stooping too low. Platforms like Airbnb will suggest accurate pricing options based on data.

As you evaluate the market indepently, try to analyze properties that have at least ten reviews. This is because “newer” vacation rental listings tend to undercut their pricing to attract renters during their early operating stages. Properties with a handful of reviews are likely charging full market value, which provides you with an accurate number of what local properties are going for.

2) Doing The Bare Minimum
The key to running a successful rental property is to create a great rental experience. For example, just because your listing states that you provide basic amenities doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to offer cheap soaps and shampoos. A little effort goes a long way.

What was once considered “luxury” a decade ago has shifted dramatically, and now “luxury” is fairly standard, even for the smallest of vacation rental properties. To increase your chances of getting five-star reviews (the gold standard of vacation rentals and repeat business), you’ll have to wow your guests. Here are a few ideas for achieving this:

● Use quality products in your bathroom, like high-end soaps and shampoos
● Invest in plush towels, bathrobes, pillows, and linen
● Stock your fridge with useful basics, such as water bottles and condiments
● Include local maps and tips
● Take the time to create a welcome basket (preferably inspired by your local neighborhood)

Source: Pinterest

3) Listing On Too Many Sites
If you’re in the early stages of renting your property, it may be tempting to start listing on every vacation rental platform possible. However, you should refrain from doing so. Too many listing across the Web can quickly become difficult to manage. This means that every time your listing changes in the slightest, you’ll have to update across several sites. It’s easy for something to slip through the cracks, and the last thing you want is for your home to be misrepresented on one of your selling channels.

Additionally, if you aren’t ultra-careful with your bookings, you might accidentally overbook and have to cancel on one of your guests. On platforms like Airbnb, canceling on a guest is shown publicly, and could make future potential guests deem you untrustworthy. To stay on the safe side, stick to two or three vacation rental platforms that have worked well for you. Over time, you may even notice that just one platform is all you need.

4) Taking Your Own Photos
Unless you’re a professional photographer, it’s best that you don’t take your own photos. Sure, the smartphones of today are more than capable of producing beautiful imagery than ever. But not only do professional cameras take mobile capabilities to the next level, but professionals understand how to frame a shot, edit it, and show off your vacation rental in the best light.

If you’re listing your property on Airbnb, you may be able to take advantage of free photography services. Otherwise, conduct a local Google search for nearby photographers. Not convinced on the power of professional photography? Take a look at the difference between these amateur and professional photos:

Source: Real Estate Photography

Source: The Memory Mill

Source: Tony Mwendi Kinkela

5) Setting The Same Price Year Round
Perhaps you’ve spent a bit of time perfecting your price, and want to leave it alone for the rest of the year. This might sound good in theory, but isn’t smart in practice. As a property owner, you should stay away from flat pricing year-round. Here are some reasons you’d want to increase your prices:

● Holiday seasons
● Weekend getaways
● Peak season in your local area (for example, winter might be a low season in Virginia Beach, but high season in Aspen, Colorado)
● Festivals and various other events

On the other hand, you might consider lowering your price during the off-season, to keep your property competitively priced when there’s not much happening in the area.